How to build a home…

w.resized

Today, Mel takes us on a photo journey through the house build that she and her family have undertaken in the woods…


We moved to Steward Community Woodland 10 years ago with our young son, and built a low impact structure intended to last 5 years or so. Nine years and two more children later, the time came to rebuild. As we were applying for planning permission that year, we decided to move location a little further down the hill (below the water line!) and rebuild a home from the timber around us. Using a mobile saw mill to plank up some of our Douglas Fir and Larch trees, we were able to make a start.

Our chosen location
Our chosen location

The framework for the ground floor. There are no foundations dug into the earth so when we leave the ground can be restored with minimal disruption.
The framework for the ground floor. There are no foundations dug into the earth so when we leave the ground can be restored with minimal disruption.
We used the trees we had to fell to build the framework in the round.
We used the trees we had to fell to build the framework in the round.
Lots of cross bracing gives strength and stability.
Lots of cross bracing gives strength and stability.
Our milled 6x2 floor joists.
Our milled 6×2 floor joists.
Lots of noggins between the joists, and just a few of the marvellous helpers we had on the build.
Lots of noggins between the joists, and just a few of the marvellous helpers we had on the build.
The flooring goes down.
The flooring goes down.

h

We built a ramp to access the floor instead of the slippery slope.
We built a ramp to access the floor instead of the slippery slope.
k
Walls and recycled windows fitting into place.

l

m
The roof on as soon as possible to protect the flooring from the elements.

n

Gathering more materials.
Gathering more materials.

p

everyone joins in on the work. Stripping the poles for a cleaner finish.
Everyone joins in on the work. Stripping the poles for a cleaner finish.
The framework is coming on.
The framework is coming on.
The top floor and roof. It was a mammoth project, and it is coming together now.
The top floor and roof. It was a mammoth project, and it is coming together now.

t

A waterproof membrane around the walls.
A waterproof membrane around the walls.

v

The cladding finally goes on.
The cladding finally goes on.

This was a huge undertaking and a true labour of love, and is now our beautiful home!


Remember, you can watch our film and read all about our project and the current situation over here at the crowdfunder page. For more about this part of the campaign to save our community and homes, read this blog post.

Thank you for your continuing interest and support – together, we can make an amazing breakthrough for low-impact living in the UK!

1 thought on “How to build a home…”

  1. Gorgeous. Regarding the posts that hold the whole thing up, the ones sunk into the ground, how do you prevent them from rotting over time given that they’re submerged in the earth?

Leave a Reply